8 policemen including DSP killed during raid at history-sheeter's house, UP CM seeks report

News Network
July 3, 2020

Kanpur,  Jul 3: A total of eight police personnel including Deputy Superintendent of Police Devendra Mishra have lost their lives after they were fired upon by criminals in the early hours of Friday.

The incident took place when a police team had gone to raid history-sheeter Vikas Dubey's house.

Senior Superintendent of Police and Inspector General of Police have reached the spot and forensics team is examining the area.

State Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has expressed his condolence to the families of the eight Police personnel who lost their lives after being fired upon by criminals in Kanpur. He has directed Director General of Police HC Awasthi to take strict action against criminals. He also sought a report of the incident. 

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Agencies
September 23,2020

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Saudi Arabia celebrates its National Day on Wednesday this year, with concerts and other events, while adhering to COVID-19 precautionary measures, to commemorate the Kingdom’s unification under its founder, King Abdulaziz Al Saud, 90 years ago.

Celebrations amid the coronavirus pandemic

This year, the country’s General Entertainment Authority (GEA) organized a string of concerts that will take place from September 22-26 to celebrate the national holiday, in accordance with GEA guidelines that were put in place to ensure everyone’s safety amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The guidelines emphasize the importance of wearing masks, social distancing, reducing the duration of social contact, in addition to other preventative measures.

However, authorities in the Kingdom have reduced the number of attendees expected to attend the concerts as a precautionary measure against the spread of the coronavirus, according to Rotana Music, a record label company involved in organizing the concerts.

Also happening this year, Saudi designer Omaima Kindassa is staging a fashion show in Jeddah to showcase traditional clothing from regions around the Kingdom, inspired by the traditions of the diverse tribal communities in the country.

On Wednesday, more than 60 military and civilian aircrafts will participate in a live show that will air on Saudi TV 1, GEA said in a tweet, adding that it will be the largest air show in the history of Saudi Arabia’s National Day celebrations.

Additionally, GEA has set up an online platform for free National Day-themed printables that includes logos, images, and illustrations that users could download and print at home to use for decorative purposes.

Sense of unity

Saudis feel “a sense of unity” every year on National Day, 30-year-old Sultan al-Osaimi from Riyadh told Al Arabiya English.

“I feel like people are united on National Day, you can feel it in the air. Everyone feels a sense of belonging, this is especially heightened on national holidays,” al-Osaimi said.

“Everybody gets excited, people dress up in green [the color of the Saudi flag].”

“I am proud to be from this country. May our country always stay safe,” al-Osaimi added.

Al Anoud bin Juma, a 23-year-old, echoed al-Osaimi’s remarks.

“Although many people will stay home due to COVID-19, I really feel like Saudis have a genuine feeling of belonging and unity, this year more than ever.”

Bin Juma, who lives in Riyadh but is a Qassim native, explained that this feeling of unity comes from the safety and security the Kingdom provides, even during a global pandemic. “I feel safe here [in Saudi] and I appreciate the efforts of the country during the coronavirus crisis.”

“Saudi Arabia always puts its citizens and residents first, and I am very thankful to be from this country,” Bin Juma said, adding that she loves to celebrate its National Day.

Previous National Day celebrations

In 2005, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz made September 23 a national holiday in the Kingdom.

Since then, the country celebrated its national day in various ways. Last year, Saudi Arabia’s 89th National Day featured over 70 entertainment events across the Kingdom, including light shows, fireworks, and music performances, organized by the country’s General Entertainment Authority (GEA) for a five-day National Day Season.

In 2018, more than 900,000 fireworks lit up the sky simultaneously from over 58 sites across the Kingdom in celebration of its 88th National Day.

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News Network
September 22,2020

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Bengaluru, Sept 22: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken over the investigations into the communal riots that rocked Bengaluru in August and have registered two cases.

An NIA statement said it took over the investigation on Monday following an order from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) asking the agency to probe two FIRs of arson and violence filed in connection with the incidents in Devarajeevana Halli and Kadugondana Halli police stations under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The first case is registered on the basis of the FIR 195/2020 dated August 12 at Devarajeevana Halli police station while the second case is based on the FIR 229/2020 filed on August 12 at Kadugondana Halli police station.

On August 11 night, the NIA said, more than 1,000 people had gathered in front of the house of Congress MLA Naveen Srinivas Murthy (Pulakeshi Nagar constituency) at Kavalbyrasandra in Bengaluru protesting against a derogatory Facebook post about Prophet Mohammed by his nephew Naveen.

SDPI Karnataka Secretary Muzamil Pasha had earlier called a meeting and directed the members of SDPI and Popular Front to "instigate the mob and incite violence", the agency claimed.

"The mob went on rampage in Devarajeevana Halli, Kadugondana Halli and Pulakeshi Nagar area under Bengaluru City. They attacked Devarajeevana Halli and Kadugondana Halli police stations and vandalized the property of police stations. including government and private vehicles parked in the police stations," it said.

The mob also attacked the house of the MLA before attacking the police stations. The NIA team, headed by an IG-rank officer, is camping at Bengaluru in connection with the investigation of these cases, the statement added.

The Centre had earlier informed the Karnataka High Court that it would take over the case.

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News Network
September 17,2020

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New Delhi, Sept 17: Four Indian cities -- New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru -- witnessed a significant drop in their rankings in the global listing of smart cities that was topped by Singapore.

The Institute for Management Development (IMD), in collaboration with Singapore University for Technology and Design (SUTD), has released the 2020 Smart City Index, with key findings on how technology is playing a role in the Covid-19 era.

In the 2020 Smart City Index, Hyderabad was placed at the 85th position (down from 67 in 2019), New Delhi at 86th rank (down from 68 in 2019), Mumbai was at 93rd place (in 2019 it was at 78) and Bengaluru at 95th (79 in 2019).

"Cities in India (New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru) suffer significant drops this year. This can be attributed to the detrimental effect that the pandemic has had where the technological advancement was not up to date," the report said.

It further added that "Indian cities have suffered more from the pandemic because they were not prepared".

From 15 indicators that the respondents perceive as the priority areas for their city, all four cities highlighted air pollution as one of the key areas that they felt their city needed to prioritise on.

For cities like Bangalore and Mumbai, this was closely followed by road congestion while for Delhi and Hyderabad it was basic amenities, the report said.

The 2020 Smart City Index (SCI) was topped by Singapore, followed by Helsinki and Zurich in the second and the third place respectively. Others in the top 10 list include Auckland (4th), Oslo (5th), Copenhagen (6th), Geneva (7th), Taipei City (8th), Amsterdam (9th) and New York at the 10th place.

In SCI's context, 'smart city' describes an urban setting that apply technology to enhance the benefits and diminish the shortcomings of urbanization.

The second edition of the SCI ranked 109 cities worldwide by capturing perceptions of randomly chosen 120 residents in each city.

Hundreds of citizens from 109 cities were surveyed in April and May 2020 and asked questions on the technological provisions of their city across five key areas: health and safety, mobility, activities, opportunities and governance.

Reflected in this year's rankings is that cities have ever differing approaches to technology as managing the pandemic has become increasingly important in local politics, the report said.

"We cannot ignore the impact of Covid-19," said IMD's Professor Arturo Bris, who led the work of the ranking as the Director of the World Competitiveness Center at the Swiss management institute which is behind it. Those with better technology manage the pandemic better. Smart cities are not the solution, but technology helps,” he explained.

"Smart cities closer to the top of the rankings seem to deal with unexpected challenges of the devastating pandemic with a better outcome," remarked Professor Heng Chee Chan, Chairperson of the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities at SUTD.

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